Oooh, I am so excited to share something I've been cooking up! At this time of year do you start dreaming of sewing yourself clothes? Wouldn't it be nice to merge your quilty/crafty self with the style you wear? I've been feeling that way. My closet feel rather "ho hum" though my style is anything but. So... along comes a new book by Natalie Chanin.
Alabama Studio Sewing + Design is Natalie's third book from craft book dynasty STC Craft/Melanie Falick. Each gorgeous, clothbound volume is hardbound and replete with fantastic photography. I've enjoyed Alabama Stitch Book, which comes with that bloomers stencil I've used in several projects. And I still think that first book is an excellent place to start with lots of bite-sized projects.
But this new book - this new book is The Book for making clothes a la Alabama Chanin. Take a look at the table of contents.
Alabama Studio Sewing + Design goes into a lot of detail on Natalie's basic methods for garment construction (chapters 1-3). It's great how she uses both photographs and illustrations to teach these techniques.
Chapter 4 illustrates all of the basic
bodies that make up an Alabama Chanin wardrobe from tops to dresses to
skirts and accessories. There are also lots of new variations made up with seriously chic photography throughout. Even with plain organic cotton jersey, Alabama Chanin style has those little hand-stitched details that I love. Because everything is hand stitched. Every seam. Everything.
Chapters 5-7 detail how to embellish garments in this style with beads, sequins, embroidery, quilting, reverse applique and applique. Again, all by hand. Swoon! This book has more examples of different embellishment options and new embellishment options than any other Alabama Chanin book. It's truly breathtaking.
I adored chapter 8, where Natalie unveils "Fabric Maps". Seven incredible fabric surfaces are photographed close-up alongside text and a hand drawn map "showing exactly how to create the fabrics, including the placement of every stitch, applique, and bead" (pg. 117). This is exactly the type of detail I crave. I've been smitten by "Natalie's Dream" above, though I don't think I'm ready for such an advanced project just yet.
The last chapter is photographed like a runway fashion show - over the top fabulousness layered on piece by piece. If you weren't already overwhelmed by all the possibilities, this chapter will surely do you in. When I came across this page there was no hesitation - I knew I needed to make this dress.
And, in fact, I will be!
The gears have already been set in motion with supplies soon to be on their way. After all, I certainly don't have the cast-off t-shirts in the house to supply enough jersey to make a dress! Just how I narrowed in on what I'd need is quite a tale, so I'm going to save that for tomorrow. And, psst, I'll also have a coupon you can use should you fancy an Alabama Chanin project too! If you can't wait till then, head on over to Alabama Chanin Studio Style to get a head-start now. It's a lovely lot of options!
Noted: I'm updating my Books page with Alabama Studio Sewing + Design and a few other books I've enjoyed lately. Please let me know if there's a particular sewing book that's knocked your socks off to date! I'd love to take a look.